Gen Z at Cushman & Wakefield
Every employee, regardless of age, sex or experience, brings a unique perspective to the workplace. Working with young people who are at the start of their professional journey creates an opportunity to look at the work environment and culture through the eyes of people who are not set in their own ways yet and have not formed work habits. What value does it represent to the employer? Anna Trochim, Country HR Manager at Cushman & Wakefield Poland, talks about members of Generation Z and working with them.
As every person has their own individuality, pigeonholing generations and following fixed patterns may be a trap for organisations. However, due to changes resulting from the social, technological and economic transformation in recent decades, we are observing some general patterns with respect to differences in worldview and diverse expectations of new generations that will have a substantial impact on an organisation’s growth in the future.
Gen Zers in the Polish office of Cushman & Wakefield account for 6% of its total headcount. They have joined us in the last three years with roles across various business lines. A substantial proportion are financial professionals with very strong analytical skills, but some are also present in administration, marketing and transactional departments.
Hiring young people who are just starting to navigate their career path brings a new perspective on corporate processes and culture into the workplace. The younger generation boldly share their observations and clearly communicate their expectations, which creates a great growth opportunity for us as an organisation on the one hand, and frequently represents a major challenge on the other.
We largely rely on networking in employee acquisition and likewise in recruitment of Gen Zers. We strongly believe in the power of recommendation and an employee referral program is helpful, but convincing our employees that it is worth working for us is key. Employer branding is a very important part of the process. We do it by being present on social media channels which members of the younger generation visit daily. In addition, we liaise with universities and support charity campaigns – all this however is based on the culture of openness and diversity we continuously co-create with all our employees.
Gen Zers are uniquely known for being very bold in asking questions during the recruitment process. Young people are mostly interested to know what development opportunities a company can offer them. What is important to them is both work flexibility in terms of place and working hours and getting to know their future superior as best as possible, as revealed by the findings of the report Gen Z: A Workplace of the Leaders of the Future.
Focus groups held for the survey provided some interesting insight into Gen Zers, for whom the physical work environment is important – this includes natural light, air quality, the location and fit-out of the office. Regarding the office and amenities provided, we are truly competitive as an employer of choice. We have recently successfully consolidated our Warsaw offices and moved to our brand new head office in The Warsaw Hub a couple of months ago. Our new office fully addresses all intergenerational needs, including the needs indicated by Gen Zers. It is one of the firm’s most modern offices across EMEA. It provides modern workstations for individual work, spaces for project work with sit-stand desks, soundproof phone booths and more than 30 meeting rooms. The ergonomics of workstations is ensured by height-adjustable electric desks with a choice of standing positions. Our employees can also access a Power Room, or a mini-gym, a Relax Room with a massage recliner chair, a Yoga Room, a parent and child room, and healthy food vending machines. As well as providing a variety of functions to support our teams in their daily work, our office also boasts a unique design and interesting technologies. Automated room booking systems, motion detectors and room occupancy indicators facilitate finding vacant space and help ensure employee safety. Modern audio and video systems can be used to hold group meetings online.
Another benefit that focus group participants particularly emphasised was a competent and friendly manager from whom they could learn a lot and who is tough but treats everyone with respect and as equals. It is very important to Gen Zers who they work for in terms of both their immediate superior and company’s brand. This, therefore, means pressure on us as employers to foster leadership built on trust, to further enhance the high quality of work culture based on mutual values, and to promote joint responsibility both for our internal actions and for our services delivered to clients – these matters are of paramount importance and should be prioritised.
Additionally, Cushman & Wakefield is the first workplace for many of them, hence the need to develop capabilities through various mentoring programmes and to build culture of openness based on knowledge and experience sharing.
Country HR Manager
Cushman & Wakefield
Gen Z: A Workplace of the Leaders of the Future, a report from Cushman & Wakefield and Antal, can be a useful tool for organisations in adapting their offices to the needs and preferences of young people entering the workforce. Visit https://info.cushmanwakefield.com/l/263412/2020-09-24/348sh8 to download the report.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 53,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2019, the firm had revenue of $8.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWakeCE on Twitter.